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KARIM KHAN.
CHAPTER LXXIII
THE   SHORT-LIVED   ZAND   DYNASTY
It is pleasing to recount the actions of a chief, who, though born in
an inferior rank, obtained power without crime, and who exercised it with a
moderation that was, in the times in which he lived, as singular as his justice
and humanity.—Sir JOHN MALCOLM on Karim Khan.
Ahmad Khan, Durrani.—The assassination of Nadir
Shah was a signal for the break up of his composite army.
The act of the conspirators was approved of by all its
leaders except Ahmad Khan, Durrani, who commanded
the Afghan and Uzbeg contingents. With this force,
ten thousand strong, the Afghan chief sought to avenge
his fallen leader, but he was defeated and retreated to
Kandahar, where he founded a kingdom. The sinews of
war he obtained by the fortunate capture of a treasure
convoy containing part of the spoils of Delhi, and among
the jewels seized on this occasion was the famous diamond
known as the Kuh-i-Nur, or " Mountain of Light," which
now adorns the crown of the British sovereign. Ahmad
Khan reduced the whole of Afghanistan and took both
Herat and Meshed. He also invaded India repeatedly
and annexed Kashmir, Sind, and part of the Panjab. He
even held Delhi for a time. His great feat of arms was
the defeat of the Marathas at Panipat in A.D. 1761.
Adil Shah, A.H. 1160-1161 (174.7-1748).—Ali Kuli,
nephew of Nadir, succeeded him on the throne under the
title of Adil Shah, or "The Just" His first act wasto
issue a proclamation in which he accepted responsibility
for the murder of a tyrant who " delighted in blood and,
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